Tech Industry

Expedia flies high after winning name battle

E-business consulting company Xpedior agrees to change its name to settle a trademark dispute filed by the Microsoft spinoff.

E-business consulting company Xpedior has agreed to change its name to settle a trademark dispute filed by Microsoft spinoff Expedia.

As part of the agreement, Xpedior is required to change its name no later than 2003. However, according to Expedia spokeswoman Suzi LeVine, if Xpedior does not change its name by the end of 2001, under the agreement, it must pay "substantial" penalties to Expedia.

"This is a really great win for brands and brand-name protection," LeVine said.

Chuck Riley, senior vice president and marketing director at Xpedior, declined to comment on whether the company would face penalties for delaying a name change. "We have no plans to go beyond 2001 without changing our name," he said.

Bellevue, Wash.-based Expedia filed suit against the Chicago-based company in December, charging that Xpedior's name infringed on the travel site's own trademarked name.

Riley said the upcoming name change would affect the company's marketing and workload but would not be "earth shattering." Despite the change in its moniker, Xpedior will not alter its business plan, Riley said.

"This company was formed by joining a number of different companies," Riley said. "There's a number of (company) names employees have worked under. This is an opportunity for us to develop a name that's closer to our overall brand position than Xpedior is."

The settlement comes just one month after shareholders of Internet access provider PSINet approved a $50 million investment in Xpedior and a $1.9 billion acquisition of Xpedior parent company Metamor Worldwide. As part of its investment, PSINet acquired an 80 percent stake in Xpedior.

Meanwhile, Expedia has been promoting its brand through a radio show, a magazine, and soon through Internet cafes in airports.